Bulas and Medicines 2022

Agar-agar: what é, what it is for and how to take it

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Agar-agar: what é, what it is for and how to take it
Agar-agar: what é, what it is for and how to take it

Agar-agar is a microalgae that has a thickening, gelling and stabilizing property that can be used in recipes to give greater consistency to desserts or in the preparation of vegetable jellies, for example. Thus, due to its properties and the fact that it is rich in fiber and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, iron, chlorine and iodine, cellulose and proteins, agar-agar can help in the process of losing weight and regulating the functioning of the intestine..

Agar-agar can be found in pharmacies, supermarkets, on the internet or in natural products stores in the form of strips of dried seaweed, powder or capsules, and should be used as directed by the doctor or nutritionist.

Agar-agar powder

What is agar-agar for

Agar-agar is rich in fibers and minerals, in addition to having a thickening, gelling and stabilizing property, which makes agar-agar a great ingredient to be used in the preparation of homemade gelatin and to increase the consistency of cold dessert, for example. However, in addition to serving in the preparation of recipes, agar-agar can also have he alth benefits, being able to serve for:

  • Help to lose weight, since when consumed with water it forms a gel in the stomach, increasing the feeling of satiety, in addition to not containing calories;
  • Improve bowel function, as it is able to promote hydration and increase the volume of stool and bowel movements;
  • Control glycemia, as it delays sugar spikes, and can be used by people with diabetes;
  • Improve bone he alth as it is rich in calcium and magnesium, which are essential minerals for bones;
  • Control cholesterol levels and decrease fat absorption, as it is rich in fiber.

Despite the indications, more studies are still needed to prove all the he alth effects of agar-agar. In addition, to ensure the benefits of agar-agar, it is important that this microalgae is part of a he althy and balanced diet and that physical activity is practiced on a regular basis.

How to take agar-agar

The use of agar-agar may vary according to the form in which the microalgae is found and the purpose of use. Agar-agar is entirely of vegetable origin and has a gelling power up to 20 times greater than common unflavored gelatin, so it should be used in smaller amounts in recipes. Thus, the use of agar-agar can be as follows:

  • In recipes, as a gelling agent: You can add 1 teaspoon or tablespoon of agar-agar in the preparation of porridge or cream for desserts. Agar-agar does not dissolve at cold temperature, so it must be used when the cream is on fire, at a temperature above 90 degrees, being necessary to mix with a spoon, always stirring until completely dissolved.
  • To make vegetable gelatin: Add 2 tablespoons of agar-agar to 1 cup of freshly squeezed pure orange juice or whole grape juice. Bring to a boil so that it dissolves completely, if necessary you can sweeten it to taste. Place in molds and place in the fridge for about 1 hour, until solidified.
  • In capsules, as a laxative or slimming: Take 1 agar-agar capsule (0.5 to 1 g) 30 minutes before lunch, and another one before dinner, along with 2 glasses of water.

It is important that the use of agar-agar with the aim of having he alth benefits is guided by the doctor or nutritionist, because excessive amounts of agar-agar can cause diarrhea.

Agar-agar contraindications

This product is not suitable for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 3 years of age. In addition, people with chronic conditions, including intestinal obstruction, should always consult their physician or nutritionist before using this nutritional supplement.

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